Sunday, April 27, 2008

The best man to carry out a withdrawal

Obama says he'll vote to confirm Petraeus, and then by implication, order Petraeus to dismantle everything he's done so far. This makes sense in politics. Vote for the popular commander to bask in his celebrity glory and having done that, see to your political base.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama, who has called for withdrawing U.S. combat troops from Iraq, said on Sunday he will vote to confirm the top commander there for a new job as head of the military's Central Command. ...

"Yes," Obama told "Fox News Sunday" when asked if, as a senator from Illinois, he would approve Petraeus. "I think Petraeus has done a good tactical job in Iraq."

Obama has said he would start pulling out more troops as soon as he became president. "My hope is that Petraeus would reflect that wider view of our strategic interest," he said on "Fox News Sunday."

Yes, Petraeus has done a "good tactical job". Now if he would only leave strategy to Barack Obama and work out the logistics of retreat -- he's good tactically, you know -- then all's well.




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28 Comments:

Blogger Teresita said...

Last year Bush was going around offering the job of War Czar to handle the strategic vision thing in Iraq. He didn't get any takers at the time (WAPO: "3 Generals Spurn the Position of War 'Czar'"), but now Obama is saying the War Czar, as envisioned by the Framers, is actually the Commander-in-Chief and he wants the job.

4/27/2008 07:11:00 PM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

Of course, Petraeus could resign and openly accuse as a civilian, Barack Hussein Obama of throwing victory away (under orders/obligations from Saddam's bagman Auichi).

And accuse BHO of betraying the victory achieved by the troops. "They wouldn't let us win."

4/27/2008 07:37:00 PM  
Blogger F said...

Whiskey_199:

If Obama is elected, and if he goes ahead and withdraws the troops immediately, I believe Patraeus will do exactly what you propose: resign and speak out against Obama's policy. In addition to that, he will work very hard for the Republican nomination to run against Obama's second term. And if, in his first term in office, Obama does what he has said he will do on the international and tax fronts, I will go further and suggest that Patraeus will beat Obama. My further prediction is that Obama will go down in history as almost as disastrous a president as Jimmy Carter. How's that for a bunch of crystal-ball gazing? F

4/27/2008 08:03:00 PM  
Blogger Teresita said...

Whiskey_199: Of course, Petraeus could resign and openly accuse as a civilian, Barack Hussein Obama of throwing victory away

How can Obama throw away what Bush said was mission accomplished in May 2003? The end of major combat operations in Iraq? Since that victory, we've been engaged in a military occupation of that country. You don't win occupations, you wind them up.

4/27/2008 08:25:00 PM  
Blogger hdgreene said...

What war is Teresita talking about? The one we've already lost and should flee from? Or the one we haven't quite lost and should flee toward (we can flee form that one later)?

Remember, President Obama is going to put the troops he takes out of Iraq into Afghanistan and then invade down our supply lines into the tribal areas of Pakistan. We can bomb the bridges our convoys come up. Will he act more like Czar Ivan the Terrible or Nicholas II? Stay tuned.

Of course he still has to deal with Iran, so maybe he'll be a cross between Czar Jimmy Carter and the Shah.

4/27/2008 08:32:00 PM  
Blogger lugh lampfhota said...

Teresita ...can you comprehend the English language? Was the carrier's mission accomplished? Were "major combat operations" against Saddam's army concluded? Do words matter in your world?

4/27/2008 08:36:00 PM  
Blogger Wretchard said...

As I remarked in the previous post, the answer to the questions are determined by attitudes rather than reasons.

Petraeus is popular, despite everything. So politicians must have his advice. But the reason he is popular is because his strategy has proved sound; yet since that strategy must on no account be admitted into the tent because it conflicts with the prevailing "attitude", the obvious solution is to give the general a personal accolade but throw his campaign into the dustbin of history.

In a sense it's a buy-off of the crassest sort, though I'm sure it isn't perceived by the Left in those terms. Rather it will probably be perceived as a magnanimous hat tip to the general in spite of his association with President Bush.

It's all about headlines, soundbites and soap opera plots. That's the way to think.

4/27/2008 08:58:00 PM  
Blogger Wretchard said...

I think Teresita is a wonderful resource because she is a perfect example of how a lot of people think. Not all of us may agree that it is the correct way to think, but there's no denying that this jumpy sort of logic is innocently employed by many individuals.

For example, just yesterday someone was explaining he met someone who believed there was nothing wrong with the Islamic practice of beating wives because he knew a friend of his brother in law who once beat his wife. So therefore we are just as bad as the Islamists. Another fellow explained to him that since all religions would disappear there would "be no harm" in letting Islam grow to any degree of influence in Western society "because they will all fade away" anyway.

This is how a lot of people think, and they are quite sincere about it.

4/27/2008 09:05:00 PM  
Blogger Teresita said...

W: I think Teresita is a wonderful resource because she is a perfect example of how a lot of people think.

Thank you Wretchard, I think. It's also safe for people to beat up on me because in two years of posting to the Belmont Club (and the Elephant Bar for that matter) I have never, ever made a personal attack on anyone. Not once. My stream-of-consciousness posting style might irritate people who keep score for consistency, and I might resort to sarcasm, but never ad hominems, even in the face of great provocation.

4/27/2008 09:18:00 PM  
Blogger Wretchard said...

That's why leading in the War on Terror is going to be more about forming attitudes, making certain ideas "cool", making certain beliefs fashionable than it is about making any kind of rational argument.

Think about al-Qaeda's own belief system. There's nothing rational about it. It's all a bunch of assertions which come from nowhere. In fact, their ideology is totally ridiculous. And yet they can convince people to strap on bombs for this idea because they engage people emotionally. Make them "believe". Belief is to reasons as 100 is to 1.

That's why ever successful scam needs not reasons, but celebrity endorsements. People will believe in global warming even if they're freezing, as long as Al Gore keeps the Save the Planet rock concerts going. We may not like it, but it's a fact.

And conservatives, if they truly want to shape public opinion, ought to to learn from show business. Until it does, we'll have the spectacle of guys like Obama glomming in on the most successful General in Iraq, the better to lead them in retreat to Kuwait.

4/27/2008 09:20:00 PM  
Blogger Teresita said...

lugh lampfhota said...

Teresita ...can you comprehend the English language? Was the carrier's mission accomplished? Were "major combat operations" against Saddam's army concluded? Do words matter in your world?

Just in case people thought the banner referred just to the carrier's part of the war, it was made by the WHITE HOUSE, and here are excerpts from the speech, leaving no doubt that Bush declared victory on May 1, 2003:


"In the Battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed. And now our coalition is engaged in securing and reconstructing that country."
. . .

"The Battle of Iraq is one victory in a war on terror that began on September the 11th, 2001, and still goes on."


You may apologize for impugning my ability to understand Engrish if you are so moved.

4/27/2008 09:26:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

I have never, ever made a personal attack on anyone. Not once. My stream-of-consciousness posting style might irritate people who keep score for consistency, and I might resort to sarcasm, but never ad hominems, even in the face of great provocation.

Teresita, you lie like a rug, both as to the name-calling, and pretty much everything else you've ever made up and written down, seeking attention for your own pointy-headed little warped sense of viewpoint.

Wretchard at one point was going on a troll hunt, and I simply do not understand why he allows you to continue to thrive and infest this site like an unfettered fungus.

If anyone in the years you have posted here has EVER posted an "attagirl" in approval or agreement with your inane statements, I wish you would link to it.

Psychologists tell us that when we're having trouble in our relationships, we should stop and ask, "what is that person bringing to the party?" And then, if the answer is "nothing", do something about it instead of just putting up with it. You, Ms. T, bring absolutely nothing to the party that I can see, and never have. Not once, not one single time, ever.

4/27/2008 10:25:00 PM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

Teresita, you are trying, along with Barack Hussein Obama, to ignore the second battle of Iraq, that with AQ and Tehran.

Do you honestly think turning over Iraq to AQ and Tehran is a winning policy? Throwing away victory there for the attitude that all evil flows from "God Damn America?"

More to the point, can you deny that your worldview, and that of Barack Hussein Obama's, is bankrupt and likely to get US cities nuked? That history's arrow does not always point one way? That deeply tribal people with nukes are an existential threat to US cities? That most Americans are sick and tired of Muslim and with a nuking of an American city would be more than happy to wipe out 1 billion Muslims?

Throwing Iraq to Tehran and AQ might satisfy those in the grips of Bush hatred, but to my mind turning that country over, bought in blood and treasure, to the two biggest enemies of America, is a non-starter. It's stupid. It's like cutting of your hand because you have a hangnail.

More to the point, the Left/Dems/Media think it's always 1972, with Nixon negotiating SALT I with Brezhnev.

How that relates to Pakistan's shaky, AQ/Taliban influenced government and it's nukes, NK's nuke proliferation (and Syria) and Iran's race to nukes is laughable at best.

Face it, as bankrupt as GWB is, intellectually, at least he is willing to fight somewhere, somehow. Dems can't even do that!

A more deliberate attempt to get the US nuked by Barack Hussein Obama could not be imagined.

Sad thing is, if Obama was President (or not) when the US gets nuked, he and Dems would say we deserve it. Would do nothing. Guaranteeing a repeat.

And the rage of the "typical white person" clinging to their guns, religion, and antipathy of those not like them.

As tribal as Obama is (92% Black vote), the result is ... well tribal politics back at him.

Wretchard is right. Attitudes are hardening. Constant Muslim aggression, terror, and Dem pandering have led most Americans to dislike the Iraq War (because Muslims are perceived as the enemy) and have very few "brakes" to wiping out Muslims with nukes should it prove "necessary."

4/27/2008 10:31:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

Those who are declared Former Regime Loyalists on January 20, 2009 can expect hard times. In the worst-case scenario that retribution could include an all expenses paid vacation at Club Fed. Ask Scooter Libby if that’s a paranoid wing-nut fantasy. In the bad-but-better-than-worst-case scenario the retribution will be more of a velvet hammer, survivable but not career enhancing. Field grades with fond memories of being a butter bar in the Balkans can relive their youth delivering the pizza to Darfurians in Meals On 8-Wheels Stryker Brigade Charity Teams. In the lesser-than-three-evils-best-case-only-because-the-other-two-suck-so-bad scenario the retribution may be more personal, based on wrath incurred from previous visits to the theater.

I rather doubt GEN Petraeus wants to be President, but it is his in 2012 if he does.

4/27/2008 11:38:00 PM  
Blogger OmegaPaladin said...

Nahncee,

Teresita has posted some things which other, more conservative regulars approved of in later comments. Some of her responses were surprising, in that they made sense, yet contradicted her other attitudes.

Teresita,
You can be annoying at times, but you are not a troll. You are like Mr. Sparkle on Blackfive - the resident liberal.

4/27/2008 11:41:00 PM  
Blogger probus said...

i agree with omega and the wretch-- teresita is good to have around if for nothing else than to remind us what we are up against-- it's the mind-set and attitude of these folks that we must constantly be reminded of lest we drop our vigilance-- she never counters an arguement with a logical discourse but seems to always talk about 'feelings' or changes the subject-- the libs want to lull us all to sleep and entrap us in semantical arguements that have nothing to do with keeping 'the enemy at bay'-- this is not meant as a put down but as an illustration as to what 'progressives' both here in the US and abroad pull all the time-- we'll ask them about a certain thing and they'll say:"...yeah, but what about THIS?"-- they have taken the uniquely American trait of rooting for the underdog to obscene levels in that 'might never makes right' even as they suckle from the teat of the society that nurtures and protects them-- thoughtful protests against country and political thought are always welcome, but let's not forget we are all one Nation and let's remember our real enemies-- Regards, probus

4/28/2008 01:54:00 AM  
Blogger Peter Grynch said...

The Washington Times has an editorial that complements the original post:
Mr. Obama said he would listen to Gen. Petraeus' advice, adding that it "would be stupid of me" to ignore what he has to say. But the senator hastened to add that, while he might feel obliged to listen to Gen. Petraeus, no one should get the impression that his advice would carry much weight with a future President Obama — particularly when it came to his determination to start pulling troops out of Iraq shortly after taking the oath of office, whatever the military situation on the ground.

During his television appearance yesterday, Mr. Obama sounded a little bit like Sen. John McCain, the likely Republican nominee, when talking about the need to stand firm against the bad actors in the region. The difference is that when Mr. McCain talks this way, he's usually referring in Tehran, Damascus or terrorist groups. Mr. Obama, by contrast, tends to reserve his toughest talk for allies of the United States — in this case, the democratically elected Iraqi government. Mr. Obama, like many of his fellow Democrats, routinely criticizes the Iraqis government for its political infighting, while treating Iran's role in supplying the weapons that killing and maiming American soldiers as if it were an afterthought or a rhetorical throwaway line. Don't be surprised if Mr. Obama and his fellow Democrats follow the MoveOn.org template and attempt to use the upcoming Petraeus/Odierno confirmation hearings to win security guarantees — for Iran. They want to tell the mullahs that no matter how destructively they behave in Iraq, they don't need to worry about retaliation from the United States.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080428/EDITORIAL/848226398/1013

4/28/2008 09:46:00 AM  
Blogger M. Simon said...

Political manipulation of wars and generals is very old in America.

When America decided to conquer Mexico they gave Scott a force every one in the Army thought was totally inadequate for the task lest Scott become a successful war hero and run against the Party in power.

Scott fooled them and succeeded any way.

Memoirs of U S Grant

The above is free.

4/28/2008 10:04:00 AM  
Blogger M. Simon said...

Teresita,

The mission was to defeat Saddam's Army. It was accomplished.

Then a new mission came into being. The creation of a functioning Iraqi state. That mission is still ongoing. Progress is being made. Iraqis will hold their latest national elections in October.

4/28/2008 10:11:00 AM  
Blogger Teresita said...

M.Simon: The mission was to defeat Saddam's Army. It was accomplished.

Then a new mission came into being. The creation of a functioning Iraqi state.


The first mission was authorized in the war vote that Hillary Rodham Clinton participated in. The second one was mission creep, but I blame the Democrats for rolling over. They keep writing checks for nationbuilding.

4/28/2008 11:04:00 AM  
Blogger Teresita said...

Response to M. Simon continues:

I voted for Gore but I was a 9-11 convert to Republicanism, much like Dennis Miller. During Bush's reign he ran up the deficit and debt faster than anyone who came before him, Pub or Donk, and that raised my eyebrows. When he nominated Harriet Miers for the Supreme Court and then fouled up the New Orleans disaster relief, I realized he didn't really know what he was doing. And then the Golden Mosque in Iraq was blown up, signaling the start of civil war, and just like William F. Buckley Jr. the President lost me right there.

4/28/2008 11:41:00 AM  
Blogger joe buz said...

I like me some teresita, Catholic woman, and anea with her pink in your face plastic pistol. Only the most closed right minded folks will refuse to learn something from the statements of others. Yeah that whole golden mosque mess caused me to loose some faith in Halliburton too.

4/28/2008 12:33:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

"and then fouled up the New Orleans disaster relief,"

Hmmm. And whose job is it to respond to a local disaster? Are you suggesting that the video we saw of buses sitting unused underwater was because Bush didn't go out and personally drive people to safety?

In 1997, there was a flood in my hometown that almost wiped it off the map. My parents lived there at the time, and the flood filled their (finished) basement. They were the lucky ones. Many people's houses were completely destroyed. Some of them just took their stuff and left, and haven't been heard from by the town since.

FEMA came and handed out a few checks about two weeks later. Gore came out for a concerned-looking photo-op. That was it.

The local people rebuilt the town without a lot of help, and none at all from the Feds beyond those first FEMA checks of a couple thousand apiece to families who'd lost everything. How much aid has arrived to the Nawlins folks from the Feds per capita after their problem? And theirs was at least an order of magnitude worse than ours, all told.

The state and local government is responsible for local emergencies. I didn't expect or want many federal taxpayer dollars to go to my hometown, as that's not the job of the Feds. I was offended that Gore was making political hay out of pretending to care that much about us (though like you, that didn't stop me from voting for him in 2000).

The MOST the Feds should do is supply emergency logistics until the worst is over. Why is the Governor or Mayor paid their salary?

4/28/2008 12:55:00 PM  
Blogger Teresita said...

Dan: The MOST the Feds should do is supply emergency logistics until the worst is over. Why is the Governor or Mayor paid their salary?

Then you disagree with John McCainiac, who said, "Katrina and its aftermath were a moment of truth for our federal government, requiring focused action and immediate, effective aid. What we saw instead was the confusion, inefficiency, and poor judgment that trouble many agencies of government every day, when no one's paying close attention."

4/28/2008 02:12:00 PM  
Blogger Tom the Redhunter said...

Remember, Obama voted against John Roberts as Chief Justice of the SCOTUS, then tried to take credit for defending him against the Kos kids.

So now he'll vote for Petraeus, but if elected will ignore his suggestions.

In other words, he talks out of both sides of his mouth.

4/28/2008 06:11:00 PM  
Blogger Wadeusaf said...

Blogger Teresita said...

Dan: "The MOST the Feds should do is supply emergency logistics until the worst is over. Why is the Governor or Mayor paid their salary?"

Then you disagree with John McCainiac, who said, "Katrina and its aftermath were a moment of truth for our federal government, requiring focused action and immediate, effective aid. What we saw instead was the confusion, inefficiency, and poor judgment that trouble many agencies of government every day, when no one's paying close attention."


I think the Senator's words describe the State of Louisiana and more to the point the City of New Orleans very aptly, even if he did not intend it that way. Our expectations of the Federal government rise in the wake of every little or big problem, when all of human history shows the real source of power and therefor the real problem lies within ourselves.

That goes double for Obama being his own and our biggest problem. It is a refreshing change from Hillary.

4/28/2008 09:06:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

"Then you disagree with John McCainiac, who said," ...

I can live with disagreeing with John McCain, who is not really known as a strict constitutionalist anyway. It wouldn't be the first time. I stand by my position. The Feds get WAY too involved in EVERY aspect of our lives already, even WITHOUT taking away our right to pick whatever the hell doctor we want to go see.

4/29/2008 09:51:00 AM  
Blogger Dave said...

Before General Petraeusa there was another miracle worker; His name was Creighton Abrams. His best efforts got thrown away.

Before him there was Matt Ridgeway.
His best efforts prevailed unchallenged until J Carter tried
to undo them and got foiled by John Singlaub.

So all this is nothing new. BHO and HRC will take the path of least personal discomfort. Dubya did not. Nor will McCain.

I can't see what all the bellyaching is about. Another 5 to 6 years (10-12 at the outside) and Iraq will be firmly on our side. Total casualties? A heck of a lot less than the 300 dead a week that I recall. Abrams got that down to 100 a week since Nixon stopped micro-manangig things and let him perform.

The battlefield is going well. Let us improve the homefront now.

4/29/2008 11:02:00 PM  

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